Monday, December 04, 2006

Computer-printed paper ballots are the solution to electronic voting

A federal election commission rejected requiring a paper record of electronic voting on the grounds that it's too much work:
"They should be longer-range goals," said Britain Williams of the National Association of Election Directors. "You are talking about basically a reinstallation of the entire voting system hardware."
Yes, we are. You all screwed it up, so go make it right. And paper trails create problems of their own with privacy and paper jams. The best solution I heard was on NPR's Science Friday - don't have computers print out a paper trail but rather an actual paper ballot that will be used to register a vote. This combines all the advantage of clarity and access for disabled voters that computers have, with the voter security and robustness of a paper ballot system. And if the computers or printers fail, voters just fill out the ballot by hand.

Six years of embarassing elections are more than enough. Let's fix this.

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